Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the opinions and perceptions regarding access to musculoskeletal rehabilitation clinics for Latino Immigrants within the United States. A qualitative, case study approach was chosen because it is the best application for investigating experience and perspective in a specific case.
A questionnaire was developed to obtain the necessary information and a specific subject (a 52-year-old female of Mexican nationality) was interviewed using a semi-structured format. Three main themes emerged from the coding process, and these were: barriers to access, mental health, and ‘survival’. During the study, the main barriers to access were found to be the inability to speak English, and the fear of deportation.
Depression and anxiety were the main mental health conditions reported in the literature on Latino immigrants and causative factors are related to a limited social life, fear of deportation, and language barrier. Finally, the theme of ‘survival’ which is related to ‘stress physiology’ is another factor that deters Latino immigrants to visit rehabilitation clinics.
If one looks at this theme through the lens of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it can be extrapolated that Latino immigrants are usually on the first two most basic levels, which are physiological needs and safety. This could affect their ability to make better decisions regarding their health and therefore not choosing an approach such as preventative care, under which many rehabilitation practices fall. More research, with a larger sample size, must be performed on this important topic in order to improve the health and quality of life of the Latino immigrant population.
Author keywords: Chiropractic - Latino immigrants - Qualitative analysis - Access to rehabilitation
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